Long Pond, Penn. – Traveling with a brand new Toyota Tundra in tow and many laps of experience in his NASCAR career on the “Tricky Triangle”, Todd Bodine came to Pocono Raceway prepared to take his No. 11 NEPA Toyota Dealers Tundra to the front in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 125. After making several changes from practice through the first half of the race, Bodine and his team emerged as contenders for the win at the halfway point. Running inside the top five all afternoon, Bodine’s solid run came to a crashing halt on lap 38 as he was sent into the inside retaining wall and knocked out of contention. He ended the afternoon in the garage, bringing home a 26th place finish.
Charging forward at the drop of the green flag from his 12th place starting position, Bodine picked his way through the trucks in front of him quickly to snatch the fifth position by lap seven. Remaining silent on the radio as crew chief Rick Gay and spotter Jimmy Kitchens called out lap times; Bodine maintained his running position as the field stretched out on the long green flag run.
The Onion called to his team just a few laps before heading to pit road for his first and only scheduled pit stop of the afternoon that his NEPA Toyota Dealers Tundra was just a tick tight in the center of the turns and needed a little help on entry. Gay made the call to his crew for four tires, chassis and air pressure adjustments to help Bodine after the pit stops.
The first caution of the afternoon came on lap 30 for an incident in turn two, shortly after Bodine’s stop. He radioed to Gay that the changes they had made under the previous pit stop would help them get a good restart and possibly gain some positions with the field in one big pack. Gay assured his driver they were good to the end on fuel and kept him on the racetrack with the rest of the lead pack.
The restart that followed boosted the intensity of the competition and created tight racing quarters for the entire field. As the competitors bunched up heading into turn two, Bodine was sent spinning from contact into the inside wall. The No. 11 NEPA Tundra was deemed damaged beyond repair and the two-time NCWTS champion ended the day in the garage in the 26th position.
“Rick did such a good job making the right calls to change the truck before the race and then made great calls during the race. Our Northeastern Pennsylvania Toyota Dealers Tundra was really good,” Bodine commented.
“It was really drivable and we had a shot; we did everything right and put ourselves in the position to have the shot at the win and that’s what you have to do. It’s a shame to have such a good truck and get taken out of contention like that.”
The Onion slid back one position in the NCWTS championship standings after the Pocono Mountains 125 to 13th. The No. 11 Red Horse Racing team and driver will regroup and head to Michigan International Speedway in two weeks for the VFW 200.